Gratitude, Meds, Creativity

My mood dropped a lot last night. I didn’t even finish my hot bath.  I have been uneven lately. I think my antidepressant is starting to burn out. To ward off any deep plunges, I did take double the dose a couple of times last week and that raised me up. But as soon as I stopped taking double I dropped again (yesterday). My antidepressants periodically burn out on me and I have to switch to something different. I am going to ask when I see my psychiatrist on Wednesday. Until then I will be taking double doses to keep myself going and functional and creative. Last night I asked Craig to wake me up before he went to work this morning just long enough for me to take my antidepressants early so that they would kick in by the time it was time for me to get up. The plan worked so I intend to try again. Maybe this can help keep my mood stable and help me wake up earlier in the morning. When antidepressant kicks in it energizes me. So it may be that by taking it at 6 something in the morning I’ll be awake by 8 or 9.

To help boost my mood, and because it is always a good practice, I want to list some things I am grateful for.

1. My mother and father. I am so glad they are in my life. They are wonderful parents and grandparents.

2. My sister. She is a good sister and a great aunt to Angelica.

3. Taco Bell. What can I say? I like their cheese quesadillas.

4. That I live in Hampton Roads where the Mexican restaurants have that white dip.

5. My library. It is a privilege and a pleasure to own a library full of books.

6. My cute yellow cottage. My house is perfect for me and my family. Perfect look, perfect size, perfect design, and for my husband, the perfect location.

7. Plus size stores. Plus size clothing options are still limited, but I know that there is a lot more available today than what there used to be.

8. That I got my car back Saturday from having work done on it since that lady crashed into me.

9. I am grateful to live in a time where there is so much art and music and literature readily available.

10. I am grateful to be short. I just like being petite.

Today I am at the library studying African poetry. Some countries I love. Others not as much. Overall though, I thoroughly enjoy African poetry and this Penguin volume of poetry from each country in Africa is quite educating for me. As usual, reading poetry inspires me to write poetry so I have been getting a lot of writing done. I will post that writing here, though I am not certain some of it is so good. But it feels good to create and be mentally active. Plus, I don’t want to lose any of my work and I use this blog to archive it so I need to post my poetry.

 

 

Crappy Friend, Dirty Animals

This morning (Thursday) I was a totally crappy friend. One of my friends was throwing a birthday party for another one of my friends and I slept right through it. This constant sleeping is really a problem. I feel so bad. And my friend only lives across the street so it’s not like I had some big journey to get there. I literally had to roll out of bed, throw on a dress, and walk across the street.

I am ashamed of myself. The get-together was early, being from 9 to 11, but that’s not that early. It’s not like it was a 6 a.m. breakfast or something. Craig is going to be home tomorrow and I am asking him to wake me up at 7 or 8. I must start getting up earlier. I’m just so out of it in the morning that I sleep straight through alarms. Craig has been trying to help me get up earlier but this morning he forgot. And at any rate I need to get myself to where I can wake up at a reasonable hour without any help because waking me up is not his job. It just goes to show how hard it is to wake up when I have something in the morning that I want to go do and I sleep right through it. It’s not like I was waking up to filing my taxes. I was waking up to going to a get together with friends. That’s something I look forward to. And I still slept right through it.

Today we bought a steam cleaner and went to the condo to steam clean the rooms that are carpeted. I have definitely learned a lesson in being a landlord. No dogs and no cats allowed. The room that belonged to the tenant with the dog and the cat was so much dirtier then the other tenants’ room. We were renting to a married couple and the wife’s friend. The friend had the dog and the cat and the carpet where her bed was sitting is still so nice and pristine. The rest of the carpet is just permanently darker even after steam cleaning. The carpet in the other room doesn’t look like that.

The fact is that dogs and cats, especially dogs, make houses dirty and some people that own them do not do the cleaning necessary to keep up with the animals. Dogs go in and out of the house all day and track in mud and dog poop and debris. They also lick themselves and rub on to the carpet. They are dirty animals. If you have an exceptionally clean person you may not notice that, as they will be regularly vacuuming and steam cleaning and mopping for themselves. But overall dogs make for dirty carpets.

We steam cleaned to the best of our ability and we’re going to steam clean again tomorrow. So we will be turning over clean carpets to the buyer. Having a dog in the house significantly shortened the life of the carpet though. It isn’t a big deal, but when I rent out my yellow house next year I know that I do not want to accept people with dogs or cats. No pets allowed except maybe small ones. This is also because while we were trying to show the house the girl who owned the dog kept not wanting to show the house and saying it was too hard for her because she didn’t have a place to put her dog and her dog has crate anxiety. I shouldn’t not be able to show my house because of an animal and it almost came to that more than once. It was a constant battle, even with 24 hours notice and a monthly rebate on rent for showing the house in good condition. 

I posted about this problem in a landlords group online and I got interesting responses. People who were not dog owners, and a few reasonable people that were, sided with me and said that the tenant needs to be willing to show the house with the legally mandated 24 hour notice, and that their dog is their problem. They are lucky to be allowed pets at all. We didn’t even charge a pet deposit. But all the dog lovers jumped in and said how I should be willing to pay for doggie daycare then ( I guess on top of the rental rebate I was offering for showing the house nicely, something I didn’t have to do), and that you can’t expect a dog with anxiety to stay in a crate. They even said if I have to have the unit sitting empty for a few months (because of not being able to show the condo while the tenants live there because of the dog) and pay the mortgage myself and lose thousands of dollars so that her dog and her don’t have to be inconvenienced I should be okay with that. I thought that landlording was a business  but apparently  it’s animal comfort first  and money second. It really taught me a lot about these animal lover people and I just don’t want to rent to them. Explanations to these people that someone else’s dog should not cost me potentially thousands of dollars in lost rent or a lost sale goes right over their heads. But…but…cute puppy!…..but it is scared of the crate….but it is time consuming to have someone come home and walk the dog…awww look its tail is wagging.        Don’t care.

Never again.  Having animals on my property is a privilege, not a right. If it is going to inconvenience me or cost me money I am not going to do it. Never again will I be yelled at by a tenant because I am inconveniencing a dog. If it can’t stay in a crate it can’t stay in my house. I will not have someone else’s dog become my problem.

Swollen Bones

Today I went to the podiatrist to get the results of my MRI. I am still having pain when I walk and when I take the stairs. He said the basically my bones are swelling. I’m not sure how that works. In the notes from the people who did my MRI it said that it looks like I may still have a bone infection, but the doctor doesn’t think so. He gave me a cortisone shot in my ankle joint. Let me tell you that is not pleasant. He froze my foot first with this can of cold air so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been but it definitely hurt. He stuck that needle there and put a whole bunch of cortisone in. My foot is still swollen.

When I got home I hung out with a friend and we watched the movie Passengers. I haven’t seen it before. It was really good. It would have been nice to see it in theaters. Definitely a worthwhile movie to watch.

We have an offer on the condo! For the past two years we have been landlords with a condo in Virginia Beach. This time around we didn’t want to keep the condo so we put it on the market for sale and someone has given us an offer. So if everything goes well will be selling it. Of course it could fall through and we’ll have to sell to someone else or be landlords again, but I think everything is going to work out.

Being a landlord hasn’t been bad, although it has been stressful recently with coordinating showings around the tenants. But we do have quiet tenants that have always paid on time.  But in January when we move to Colorado we are already going to be landlords for our little yellow house here in Moyock. We didn’t want to be landlords of two properties from such a long distance. A lot can go wrong and it can get expensive.

It will be hard to finally say bye to the condo. It was the first home that Craig ever bought, and it was the first home of our married lives. It’s the house we brought the baby back to when she was a newborn. It definitely has a lot of sentimental value. But you can’t make business decisions based purely on sentimental value and having too many rental properties when we’re going to be halfway across the country is a big liability. Someday we might go into the landlording business but I don’t think we want to do that until we are more settled. And even then it is only a maybe.

 

 

Sad Mornings

Lately I just can’t seem to feel any joy in the mornings. I don’t know why. I always have a good day to look forward to. But lately not only am I having a hard time waking up, I’m having a hard time getting up and getting going when I do finally wake up. I feel neither the urgency of the things I need to do nor the anticipation of the things I want to do. Instead I feel just sort of empty and low. I want to curl up in a ball and just stay still for the day. When I do finally get going I am okay, but I just haven’t been feeling my best in the mornings. I hope my mood is not starting to dip, as usually having a hard time getting out of bed is a sign that it is dropping. And today at lunch I actually had anxiety, which I haven’t had in a few weeks.

However I feel, I need to get more done during the day and I also want to make the most of and enjoy my mornings. So I need to come up with a plan to get me going earlier, and get me eager to start my day. I have a good life, so getting up in the morning should be something I look forward to.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to do several things to change my mornings. I’m going to set my alarm using an app called Alarm Clock Xtreme. The app settings allow you to require yourself to solve math problems of varying degrees of difficulty in order to snooze the alarm or turn it off. I’m hoping this forcing function of getting me to use my tired brain in the morning will force me to truly wake up. I’ve set the alarm for 8:02. Let’s see what time I wake up.

Now for the motivating myself to get out of bed part. I’m going to start setting daily checklists in my color note app in my color note calendar that will have reminders that pop up and show me what I need to do.  If that doesn’t help I’ll try Evernote or some other scheduling apps that might give me reminders of things I need and want to do. I’m hoping that just seeing a list of what I need and want to accomplish will help motivate me to get out of bed. I like Colornote because of the ease of use factor and because of all the rainbow colors it lets you use.

I’m going to try and start incorporating scripture in to my morning. Scripture can be so energizing and inspiring and it is the perfect way to start the day. So after making sure the baby has what she needs, and after letting the bunny out, I will dive into the Word. The Bible reminds me to take care of my family, my home, and myself – reminders I need when I’m not doing my best. And if the alarm I’m using to wake up actually works I should be awake early enough for once to have the chance to start the day with scripture.

Beyond that, I’m open to ideas. What can I do to dramatically change my mornings and my perspective on them? How can I take my mornings from unproductive and blah to creative and electric?

Craig is Home

Craig got home on Friday and we got to pick him up around noon. It has been so nice having him here. Angelica actually thinks he lives on the ship, and whenever he has to go to the ship she says he’s going home. Today we went to the ship for Craig to offload the rest of his stuff from his stateroom and she asked if daddy was going home. We try to explain to her that Daddy lives with us and just works on the ship, but after the last big deployment that doesn’t really seem to sink in with her and she’s quite sure Craig lives on the Eisenhower! It’s cute and sad at the same time.

We stayed in for most of the weekend, but today we went to Steak N Shake in Virginia Beach. I love that place. Forget my previous post about dieting. You can’t diet when the possibility of Steak N Shake exists. The diet will have to wait for another day. I got the shooter trio with two garlic burgers with cheese, and one cajun burger with cheese. Then I got an orange creamsicle milkshake. Delicious.

Parsnip is settling in to family life quite well. He apparently got out of his enclosure last night and Craig found him waiting patiently outside the enclosure this morning, wanting to get back in to get to his food and water. I don’t know whether he leaped over the side or  if he squeezed out because I didn’t have it secure enough. If he could squeeze out though you’d think he could squeeze back in, which makes me wonder if he jumped out and maybe had a hard time clearing that height. But at any rate he was not destructive even though he was by himself out of his enclosure for who knows how long, and today I even let him in the master bedroom and closet and bathroom, so now he has been everywhere except the FROG and laundry room.

I love it when he jumps up on the sofa to sit with me, and he grooms me and gives me kisses. He would have loved Jack. They are the best two bunnies ever. I’m so glad I found another companionable bunny. He makes the house more lively and cheerful. I always look forward to letting him out of his enclosure when I get home. He runs loose the whole time I’m home. He enjoys relaxing under the window behind the rocking chair in the library.

Angelica loves having him and is always petting him and feeding him. The first thing she does when I wake up in the morning is ask me to take him out. Getting a pet was definitely the right decision from her point of view as well. As I write, she’s playing with him.

Birth and NICU

Angelica spent a week in the NICU when she was born because her oxygen levels would sometimes drop. She would always recover on her own, but they kept her at CHKD for a week anyways, and didn’t help her. We had to fight to get her out of there. Now here she is 3 years later healthy and happy. These are a few pictures from her birth but mostly pictures in the NICU and right after she got out of the NICU.

Holding her in my arms…

So happy I made it through my pregnancy and got a beautiful baby girl in the end.

A perfect picture of my newborn baby and I.

My dad holding Angelica.

Grandpa and granddaughter!

In the NICU crib.

Daddy daughter lunch time.

Talk to the hand ’cause the face ain’t gonna listen.

Grandma and grandbaby!

Sleeping Beauty. God I still remember the way she smelled of formula. So precious.

Fooling Around at Work, Ring, Happiness

Taken while we were engaged!

Showing off my snowflake engagement ring. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. I was ring shopping with Craig at Long’s and I immediately said “I want that one.” I wouldn’t even list another ring as a possibility.

Playing dead while working at A.C. Moore, a job I initially liked but came to hate when we got new management.

Causing trouble in the stock room part 2

Dinner with my parents at Olive Garden. I had just moved into the condo with Craig. It was a couple of weeks before the wedding.

Autumn loved to climb on our books!

Jack being a sweetie!

Bunnies relaxing at the condo

I love my man ❤

In love

Soulmates

Angelica’s Ultrasound Pictures

I wish I had been blogging regularly when I was pregnant with Angelica to have a record of all this in real time, but I just didn’t feel well enough to really keep up with anything. But I want to preserve these memories, so here are her first ultrasound pictures and the pictures from when we found out she was a girl.

First Baby Photo

Growing fast!

Heartbeat

Not sure what this is

Angelica’s profile

Hi Daddy!

Hanging out

Grainy, but still a picture of my baby!

Face

Profile

Bones

It’s a girl!

I just want to mention that although these early ultrasounds name Commonwealth Women’s Health, they were actually terrible and I ended up delivering with Dr. Lackore, who was wonderful. I would definitely recommend him.

It makes me sad that I’ll never again get to go for a gender reveal ultrasound, but it is for the best and I’ve made my peace with it. I think.

Macaroni and Cheese, Moana, Mom and Dad

Yesterday I went over to my parents’ house and I spent ended up spending the night. Angelica slept on the sofa and I slept in the twin bed in the guest room. We had a great time. I went with Dad to Home Depot to get parts for the garbage disposal he was replacing, and then I hung out with Mom.  Mom made her signature gourmet macaroni and cheese bake with bread crumbs. Divine.  It was so good I had more for lunch today.

Last night we rented Moana and watched it together. I’d never let Angelica watch it before because of the demigod in it, but after going over some Christian reviews with my Mom I decided to let her try it. It was a great little movie. Good graphics and good music. Moana was a sweet, strong character.

Craig and I had a good conversation. He called at about 10. It feels so good to hear his voice. It almost makes him feel a little less far away. One week down on this mini deployment.

After the movie we went to bed and I slept like a rock. I didn’t wake up til 11:20! My mom and dad took care of Angelica and let me sleep, even taking her to Target for new clothes. When I woke up, and after they got home, I went back out to Target with my Mom and then I came home and hung out for a little while. I’ve since headed home and here I am taking a break from house cleaning. Angelica is with my parents to spend the night again. She was so happy to be staying with them. Angelica adores spending time with my parents.

My parents are so good to Angelica and love spending time with her. They always do a lot for her and she looks forward to seeing them, begging me to take her over there on the days we are staying home just the two of us. She misses them when we go home.

I love spending time with my parents too. I’m reconnecting with them. I would have stayed another night, but I needed to go home and take my day meds and also I wanted a little time to myself to dream and create and clean.  I’m someone who likes a lot of down time at home, and it is nice that to know Angelica is having a fabulous time with my parents while I’m getting that alone time. My parents and Angelica have become so close. I really love my parents, and so does Angelica, and I regret the time lost with them.